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Distance: 9 miles
End points: Tiverton (Grid Ref SS 955 124)
Willand (Grid Ref ST 039 115).
This is a lovely peaceful cycle route, often along the towpath, beside this tranquil stretch of water way through the heart of Devon between Tiverton and the Somerset border. The Grand Western Canal forms part of the West Country Way (NCN3) Cycle Route which runs from Padstow in Cornwall to Bristol. This is a flat, easy, mainly off-road route, and ideal for families with children. There are open views of superb landscape on the way, varying between sheltered woodland and sweeping views of the Blackdown Hills.
Since cycling has been permitted on the towpath, there have been a number of safety concerns and near misses. Cyclists are urged to give due care and consideration for other users and to make sure pedestrians are aware of their presence before passing. It is essential that cyclists dismount and walk under bridges as in most cases it is not possible to see what is coming the other way.
You can download our cycling guide below.
Explorer (1:25,000) No. 114 Exeter and the Exe Valley, No. 128 Taunton, Blackdown Hills; Landranger (1:50,000) No. 181 Minehead and the Brendon Hills, No. 192 Exeter, Sidmouth.
Facilities along route:
Car parking and refreshments are available in Willand, Tiverton Parkway station, Sampford Peverell, Halberton and Tiverton and Cycle hire is availabl.
Tiverton Parkway to Tiverton return = 12.5 miles + 1 mile to reach Tiverton town centre (one way) and + 3 miles to reach Willand (one-way).
Route passes near to Knightshayes Court (National Trust - reduced entry for those arriving by bicycle) and Tiverton Castle. This is a flat, easy, mainly off-road route, and ideal for families with children.
Theme: Country, Heritage, Nature, Bird Watching,
Style of route: Traffic Free, Off Road,
Area: Mid Devon.
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Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
Car parking is available in Willand, Tiverton Parkway station, Halberton and Tiverton.
* By Car: The Canal Basin in Tiverton is well-signposted from the M5 J27, the A361 from Barnstaple and the A396 from Exeter. For access to the central section of the Canal either leave the M5 at Junction 27 and follow the A361 North Devon Link Road, taking the first exit to Sampford Peverell; or take the road from Tiverton to Halberton, passing Blundell’s School. To access the northern end of the Canal leave the M5 on Junction 27, follow the A38 to Wellington and follow signs to Burlescombe.
* By Bus: There are regular bus services to Tiverton from Exeter, Barnstaple, Crediton and Taunton. Once at Tiverton Bus Station, it is a half mile walk up to the Canal Basin (the Tourist Information Centre beside the bus station can give directions, if necessary). Alternatively you can catch the Tidcombe Circular bus service which stops just past the Canal Basin, and near Tidcombe Bridge. For more information on this and other public transport services in the region, call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.
* By Train: Tiverton Parkway Train Station is located between Sampford Peverell and M5 Junction 27, six miles from Tiverton. The station is served by most trains approaching from Exeter and Taunton. The Canal is half a mile from the station. Take the road away from the station, following the brown signs to the Canal, passing the farm shop and bearing right at the fork before the main road. Cross the main road and follow the track opposite which leads to the Boehill Slipway and the towpath.
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